With the 10-year average U.S. domestic consumption up just 0.4%, the U.S. dairy industry will have to look outward. Citing the impact on U.S. milk prices between March 2010 and February 2014, the value of exports add to dairy farmer prices “is real.”
Waldvogel put up some red flags for the future, warning the export market could lose its luster if milk loses its “safety” image; non-tariff trade barriers, including bans on management practices, get in the way of trade; business transactions are not executed properly; or another, new low-cost supplier emerges.
DFA's global sales revenue is expected to reach $800 million by 2016, four times the total for 2010, Waldvogel said. He urged DFA and the rest of the U.S. dairy industry to identify, develop and expand customer relationships, strive to be elite suppliers of value-added dairy products; and use all available resources, including the Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) program.
“It will not be a straight line, and there will be bumps in the road,” Waldvogel concluded.